regreso a Lima luego de varios viajes seguidos. El último, a una conferencia en la Universidad de Tel Aviv sobre Populismo y Estado en América Latina. Estuvo muy interesante, el programa de la conferencia pueden verlo aquí:
La conferencia fue muy buena, por la calidad de los invitados y la calidad de los latinoamericanistas israelíes.
Preparando el viaje, me enteré de que un grupo de académicos ingleses promueven un boycott a las universidades israelíes, protestando por su supuesta complicidad con la ocupación del Estado israelí de territorios palestinos. Si bien la U. de Tel Aviv no está en el ojo de la tormenta (y mi impresión general es que se trata de una institución académica plural y crítica), termina siendo parte de la controversia. Sobre el punto ver:
Ahora bien, muchos están en contra del boycott. Ver por ejemplo el artículo de Martha Nussbaum publicado en Dissent:
Against Academic Boycotts
By Martha Nussbaum
On May 30, Britain's 120,000-strong University and College Union voted to endorse a motion to boycott Israeli universities, calling on British academics to condemn "the complicity of Israeli academics in the occupation." In the upcoming weeks, local branches will decide on whether to uphold the endorsement. Unison, Britain's largest union, has also announced that it intends to vote on a similar Israel boycott. In the forthcoming Summer 2007 issue (out the first week of July), Martha Nussbaum provides an impassioned argument against academic boycotts. Because of the imminent—and consequential—nature of the debate, we are publishing her article online in advance of the issue. - editors.
I DO NOT PLAN to discuss the specific facts concerning boycotts of Israeli academic institutions and individuals. There are three reasons for this silence. First, I believe that philosophers should be pursuing philosophical principles—defensible general principles that can be applied to a wide range of cases. We cannot easily tell whether our principles are good ones by looking at a single case only, without inquiring as to whether the principles we propose could be applied to all similar cases.
Second, I am made uneasy by the single-minded focus on Israel. Surely it is unseemly for Americans to discuss boycotts of another country on the other side of the world without posing related questions about American policies and actions that are not above moral scrutiny. Nor should we fail to investigate relevantly comparable cases concerning other nations. For example, one might consider possible responses to the genocide of Muslim civilians in the Indian state of Gujarat in the year 2002, a pogrom organized by the state government, carried out by its agents, and given aid and comfort by the national government of that time (no longer in power). I am disturbed by the world’s failure to consider such relevantly similar cases. I have heard not a whisper about boycotting Indian academic institutions and individuals, and I have also, more surprisingly, heard nothing about the case in favor of an international boycott of U.S. academic institutions and individuals. I am not sure that there is anything to be said in favor of a boycott of Israeli scholars and institutions that could not be said, and possibly with stronger justification, for similar actions toward the United States and especially India and/or the state of Gujarat.
I would not favor an academic boycott in any of these cases, but I think that they ought to be considered together, and together with yet other cases in which governments are doing morally questionable things. One might consider, for example, the Chinese government’s record on human rights; South Korea’s lamentable sexism and indifference to widespread female infanticide and feticide; the failure of a large number of the world’s nations, including many, though not all, Arab nations, to take effective action in defense of women’s bodily integrity and human equality; and many other cases. Indeed, I note that gross indifference to the lives and health of women has never been seriously considered as a reason for any boycott, a failure of impartiality that struck me even in the days of the South Africa boycott. Eminent thinkers alleged that the case of South Africa was unique because a segment of the population was systematically unequal under the law, a situation that of course was, and still is, that of women in a large number of countries. By failing to consider all the possible applications of our principles, if we applied them impartially, we are failing to deliberate well about the choice of principles. For a world in which there was a boycott of all U.S., Indian, and Israeli scholars, and no doubt many others as well, let us say those of China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia (on grounds of sexism), and Pakistan (on the same grounds, though there has been a bit of progress lately) would be quite different from the world in which only scholars from one small nation were being boycotted, and this difference seems relevant to the choice of principles.
The third reason why I shall speak abstractly is that I am not a Middle East expert. I have recently completed a book on the Gujarat genocide in India, after studying that incident and its history and context for five years, so I think I am equipped to speak about that case, and I propose to do so occasionally, because it sheds light on some of the issues before us. Above all, however, I shall be looking for general and defensible principles.
(...) When people believe that a serious wrong has been done by some organization and its agents, there are a number of options open to those who want to express strong condemnation. Boycotts are not the only option.Quite a few others have been used effectively in comparable cases (...).
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